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JAPAN – 10

Well, says Girlahead on this, her weekly food-fun missive, be adventurous. Take breakfast. Four Seasons Kyoto has onsen eggs as a choice – see above. Two soft-poached eggs have been slowly cooked at 60° so the yolks are still runny. As is typical in Japan, by the way, the yolks are the colour of marigolds, said to be because the hens are fed on seaweed. Here the eggs are served with spinach in a light cheese sauce and chicken jus and the result is pretty yummy. The effect is definitely enhanced by the fact that Girlahead is eating outside, looking across the koi-filled lake to lush undergrowth, about ten metres away.  A 15m-tall multi-layer grey stone sculpture protrudes from the greenery. Afterwards Girlahead will take a walk around the lake, to a multi-purpose pavilion the other side.

Inside, in Emba Kyoto Chophouse, the hotel’s breakfast buffet, by the way, is splendid – see a video on Youtube. Of course it has plenty of salads. Japanese must, it seems, have salad with whatever else they are eating. And green juice is definitely in.

Girlahead also dined outside on Emba Kyoto Chophouse’s terrace. Wood tables have cut-out slats, just enough not to cause the possibility that the Sambonet cutlery might fall through. There were table-set lights by evening. Mills were wood and metal Peugeot, china Narumi, glasses Spiegelau. A glass of Dolce & Gabbana Rose 2022 Donnafugata went magnificently with a long strip of bluefin tuna tartare, handcut chutoro (medium-fat tuna), kiukau flowers, avocado, yuzu pepper. After this came a dry-aged 30 day sirloin from Kagoshima, in southernmost Kyushu, charcoal grilled over cherry wood and served with sides of steamed spinach, truffle fries. This went magnificently with a strong Aussie red, Bishop by Ben Claetzer Barossa Valley Shiraz 2021.

An extra delight of this meal was when Girlahead, sitting with hotel GM Fanny Guibouret, was being visited by a geisha. See below.